By Joseph Hartley Cavallaro
New York-June 1, 2015- The Second Open-ended Meeting of Governmental Experts under the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its aspects (MGE2) began today at the UN with many countries and non-governmental organizations partaking in the event. The discussions were focused on the already established Program of Action to prevent, combat, and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and all its aspects. Following a briefing on the latest developments in small arms and light weapons technology, countries were given the opportunity to address their questions and concerns.
The High Representative on the MGE2 was the first to speak on the issue and he expressed his concern over the widespread use of illicit firearms around the world. He emphasized that the majority of the victims of atrocities committed with illicit firearms are women and children. The countries of Iraq, Kenya, Venezuela, Colombia, Kuwait, Nigeria, and the USA, along with several others, all expressed their desire for international cooperation with the regulation of small arms, and for unity in the fight against illegal arms trafficking. The main issue that was debated throughout the day was not whether small arms should be regulated, but rather how they should be regulated. In the age of 3D printed firearms and polymer firearm materials, regulation has proved to be difficult. The debate as to how exactly countries and manufacturers should mark weapons in a way that makes them identifiable will continue on June 2.
June 2 also happens to be National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The NGOs, member of IANSA and Vision GRAM- International are campaigning for MGE2 participants to be wearing orange on this day. They Wearing Orange campaign can be followed via #WearingOrange on Twitter and WearingOrange.org. More updates on the MGE2 will be posted.